My Year of Empties

It’s been a while since I’ve shared an update on my decluttering and downsizing journey, but that’s because it’s been a slow one!


I am mostly happy with the size of my wardrobe now (still too many coats though) but I am still downsizing because I know that I don’t wear everything and tend to gravitate towards the same 10-15 pieces each season. It still feels like more than I need. Which is the whole point of this journey.

I’ve always found that post-travel has always been a great opportunity to re-evaluate my life and do a life clean up. After living out of a suitcase for a few weeks with very little possessions, coming home to overflowing cupboards and clutter is overwhelming and it makes me question what I really need to be happy. After coming back from my Japan trip last year with gorgeous new skincare, I realised that I had already built up a collection of barely used products.

These were mostly products I bought and didn’t like (and a healthy amount of hotel samples… anyone else?). There were also a lot of products that I loved but just had multiples of that I kept rotating between and never quite committed to using up.

I’ve made quite a dent in the amount of skincare that I own (and I’ve been good - I haven’t bought any new skincare except for the same body lotion which I always use up) but there is still a fair way to go. I want to have carefully picked skincare products that are perfectly suited to my skin. 1 or 2 cleansers (an oil and a normal one), toner, serum, eye cream, moisturiser and sunscreen.


“My ideal shelf: 1 or 2 cleansers, toner, serum, eye cream, moisturiser and sunscreen.”

Hand creams

Hand creams

It’s very tempting to want to buy more, especially when you see picture after picture on Instagram and Pinterest with rows of skincare lined up, and new products constantly advertised. But conscious consumption means browsing social media and opening newsletters and emails from brands with intention. Once I became clear on what I wanted for myself, it was easy to resist the urge to buy and the feeling that I didn’t have enough.

I just want to add that there is absolutely nothing wrong with owning a certain number of clothes or skincare products, numbers are objective and it’s about what feels right for you. Decluttering and downsizing is a very personal journey so no-one should ever put a number on the amount of things you should own. It all comes down to how much you need and what is enough for you personally.


Does anybody else have a lot of skincare and beauty products that they’re trying to use up? I’d love to hear about your journey and process too! Make up has been the hardest one for me to use up because I don’t wear make up every day so the products seem to last forever.

Jess x

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photographer + lifestyle blogger

i love adventures of all sizes, capturing little moments, daily coffees and kind, wholesome human beings